Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
Adenoids are a patch of tissue that sits at the very back of the nasal passage. Like tonsils, adenoids help keep the body healthy by trapping harmful
that we breathe in or swallow.
Adenoids (AD-eh-noyds) do important work as infection fighters for babies and young children. But they become less important as a child gets older and the body develops other ways to fight germs. In kids, adenoids usually begin to shrink after about 5 years of age and often practically disappear by the teen years.
Because adenoids trap germs that enter the body, adenoid tissue sometimes temporarily swells (becomes enlarged) as it tries to fight an infection. Allergies also can make them get bigger.
The swelling sometimes gets better. But sometimes, adenoids can get infected (this is called adenoiditis). If this happens a lot, a doctor might recommend they be removed. Often, tonsils and adenoids are surgically removed at the same time.
Kids with enlarged adenoids might:
The doctor may ask about and then check your child’s ears, nose, and throat, and feel the neck along the jaw. To get a really close look, the doctor might order X-rays or look into the nasal passage with a tiny telescope.
For a suspected infection, the doctor may prescribe different types of medicine, like pills or liquids. Nasal steroids (a liquid that is sprayed into the nose) might be prescribed to help reduce swelling in the adenoids.
An adenoidectomy (ad-eh-noy-DEK-teh-me) is the surgical removal of the adenoids. It’s one of the most common surgical procedures done on children, along with the removal of tonsils.
If swollen adenoids bother your child and don’t respond to medicine, a health care provider may recommend an adenoidectomy.
A child with obstructive sleep apnea might need an X-ray or a sleep study (polysomnogram) before the procedure. This lets doctors see how much nasal blockage there is. An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor might look inside the nose with a light or a camera.
Your health care provider will let you know if your child should stop taking any medicines in the week or two before the surgery. You’ll also learn about what and when your child can eat and drink before the surgery, since the stomach must be empty on the day of the adenoidectomy.
You can help prepare your child by talking about what to expect during the adenoidectomy.
An ENT surgeon will do the surgery in an operating room. Your child will get general anesthesia. This means an anesthesiologist will carefully watch your child and keep him or her safely and comfortably asleep during the procedure.
The surgery is done through your child’s open mouth — there are no cuts through the skin and no visible scars.
You can stay with your child until the anesthesiologist gives medicine, and then you will go to a waiting area until the surgery is over.
An adenoidectomy usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes, though it can take a little longer.
Your child will wake up in the recovery area. In most cases, kids can go home the same day as the procedure. Some may need to stay overnight for observation.
The typical recovery after an adenoidectomy often involves a few days of mild pain and discomfort, which may include sore throat, runny nose, noisy breathing, or bad breath.
In less than a week after surgery, everything should return to normal and the problems caused by the adenoids should be gone. There are no stitches to worry about, and the adenoid area will heal on its own.
Most kids have no serious side effects or problems from an adenoidectomy. But there are risks with any surgery, including infection, bleeding, and problems with anesthesia. Talk to your child’s doctor before the procedure about its risks and benefits.
Call the doctor if your child:
Get medical care right away if your child:
Even though the adenoids are part of the immune system, removing them doesn’t affect a child’s ability to fight infections. The immune system has many other ways to fight germs.
Often, tonsils and adenoids are surgically removed at the same time. So, what are adenoids exactly?
Sometimes tonsils need to be removed, but how is it done? Find out in this article for kids.
Everybody’s heard of tonsils, but not everyone knows what tonsils do in the body or why they may need to be removed. Find out here.
A tonsillectomy is surgery to remove the tonsils. It’s one of the most common surgeries kids and teens get. Find out more.
Surgeries and operations happen in the operating room, sometimes called the OR. Find out more in this article for kids.
Knowing what to expect with surgery before you get to the hospital can make you less anxious about your surgical experience – and less stress helps a person recover faster.
Strep throat is a common cause of sore throat in kids and teens. It usually requires treatment with antibiotics, but improves in a few days.
Are you a kid who snores? Find out why some people are such noisy sleepers in this article for kids.
Strep throat is a common infection that usually needs to be treated with antibiotics. Find out how to recognize the signs of strep throat and what to expect if you have it.
Brief pauses in breathing during sleep can be normal. But when breathing stops often or for longer periods, it can be a cause for concern.
If your tonsils get infected, it can make your throat feel very sore. Find out more in this article for kids.
Just what are adenoids? And why do kids sometimes have to get their adenoids removed? Get the answers here.
You wake up and your throat is swollen and you have a fever. Could it be tonsillitis? Find out what tonsillitis is, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.
Good preparation can help your child feel less anxious about getting surgery. Kids of all ages cope much better if they have an idea of what’s going to happen and why.
Tonsillitis is an infection that makes tonsils swollen and red. It can cause a sore throat, fever, swollen glands, and trouble swallowing.
Strep throat gives you a sore throat and makes it hard to swallow. Find out more in this article for kids.
If your child needs to have an operation, you probably have plenty of questions, many of them about anesthesia.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.